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What evidence do I need to bring a successful occupiers liability claim eg in a shop or public building?

Posted on 15th October 2018

The documents required in order to successfully pursue a claim for personal injury compensation will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Different classes of documents will be required in order to prove first of all that another party should be held liable for causing your accident or injury, and secondly, in order to prove the losses for which you seek compensation.

Occupier’s liability compensation

Occupiers’ liability is when an owner of private land or property such as a business, shop, restaurant or sports centre, for example, is liable for any injury caused to a person on their land/premise as a result of poor maintenance, poor design, poor signage etc.

Examples of ‘occupier liability’ claims include the following;

  • Injury in a car park as a result of a pothole or a cracked pavement that was not clearly signed or cordoned off.
  • Injury from falling down stairs or steps due to lack of safety notice, a handrail, slippery surface or badly maintained staircase.
  • Injury from badly maintained or broken apparatus in a sports centre, playground or farm.
  • Laceration from broken or badly maintained ‘edge’ for example a door, furniture, equipment.
  • Injuries to a tenant caused by defective property.

Business owners and services have a duty of care to ensure that their premises, including all the land they are responsible for (eg carparks, rivers, lakes and roads) are safe for the general public.

If you find yourself or a loved one is injured and not at fault then these are the factors to consider before making an occupiers liability claim.

Factors to consider before making an occupiers liability claim;

  • Was the danger obvious and if not were there warnings or signage of the risks?
  • Was the accident area well-lit with adequate barriers or support if the ground was uneven?
  • The age of the injured party i.e. elderly or small children; allowances should be made for the lack of mobility of visitors or lack of knowledge and understanding of any warnings in place.

What evidence will I need to prove my Occupiers Liability claim?

To prove the premises/land you were visiting was unsafe, you will need evidence and this can be obtained in numerous ways:

  • The best evidence is photographic evidence showing the cause of the accident and with measurements to show scale.
  • Witness statements are good to prove the risks were avoidable and that the accident details are corroborated.
  • You must be able to provide details of exactly where, why and how the accident happened and be clear on what the danger was and how it was preventable. Also, who is responsible, the ‘occupier’?
  • Photographs of your injuries will also be useful to show the original severity of your injuries if the value of your claim is disputed. This is especially important where you have been left with scarring as a result of the injuries you sustained.
  • We would always recommend that you keep a diary or log of events, recalling not only the circumstances leading up to the accident but also events immediately following the accident. If you have required assistance from family or friends, or if they have visited you in hospital, you should record their assistance, noting the things you needed help with and who provided that help each day or each week. You should ensure that you keep copies of any letters received in relation to your accident, such as letters from insurance companies, and send these to your solicitor promptly.
  • Another type of important documentation which you will need to produce relates to your claim for any out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident. These out of pocket expenses may include items such as the cost of painkillers and prescription charges, loss of earnings due to having to take time off work to recuperate and the cost of any recommended treatment, such as physiotherapy. To support your claim for these items you will need to produce the relevant receipts, pay slips and invoices to send to the other party insurance company.

Our London based team of personal injury solicitors specialise in occupier’s liability claims, they will be proud to fight on your behalf and are dedicated to ensuring you receive the best possible result for your claim as quickly as possible. To speak with one of our team call 0800 437 0322 or request one of our team to call you back.

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